Does Media Independence exist?

I thought we were doing okay in the media independence arena, until I read the horrendous statistics in today’s papers.  Did you know that Malaysia is ranked 141st worldwide amongst 191 countries?  And guess who our closest competitors are…. Cambodia, Ivory Coast, Moldova, Bhutan.  This hardly equates press freedom.

And then to add more sulphuric acid to a gaping open wound, I logged into the internet today and discovered from Lilian and Paris that bloggers may need to be classified.  Huh? What’s the criteria for classification?  And why classify indeed?  According to our Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin, classification of bloggers as professionals and non-professionals will help people in general identify what sort of information to believe and what to ignore.  But why?  Isn’t it a feature of democracy to allow us to speak up and be heard?  People can then judge if what they read is justifiable or not.  And what if someone is classified non-professional?  Does that mean no one will go and read his blog?  I believe that every Malaysian is entitled to an opinion, whether it is right or wrong is another matter altogether, but then that will be open for discussion.

Most of the bloggers these days blog about personal stuff, and that includes personal opinions, mind you.  They blog about their kids, the food they eat, the places they visit, and yes along the way, they may ruffle some feathers.  But that is hardly a reason to classify us.  Let us bloggers write whatever we want.  And let’s allow Malaysians and everyone else (hey, some of us Malaysian bloggers have a foreign following too, yeah?) to make matured informed decisions themselves.  That’s what life is all about!  And that’s what makes for a multi-cultural nation.

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4 Responses to Does Media Independence exist?

  1. Hear hear! Its not like we are 5 year olds who can’t tell right from wrong. Stop censorship in the name of protection!

    The Giddy Tiger says: We are a resourceful lot. What’s to stop us from digging around for sources of information, right?

  2. rinnah says:

    Well, I for one wouldn’t base my blog reading on the govt’s list of professional / non-professional or “approved” / “not approved” list of bloggers. I’ll read what I like to read!

    The Giddy Tiger says: You go girl! We certainly deserve the right to make our own decisions, don’t we?

  3. That is scary. I hate anyone telling me how to classify myself. But I won’t be surprised with the current powers try to shut the blogs up before elections. My country needs another tea party like the one that took place in Boston.

    The Giddy Tiger says: Yup, I agree that non-classification is the way to go. Besides, some bloggers have multiple blogs and while some blogs contain serious matter, others are reeking of entertainment and other stuff – so how to classify?

  4. Adino says:

    Hi Giddy Tiger I’ve been reading your blog on and off, and just found this post. I agree that the suggestion to classify blogs seems to be rather misinformed (isn’t the term Information Minister an oxymoron?). Well being the good Malaysian citizen that I am, I have filled out a Malaysian blogger registration form.

    Hee hee…

    The Giddy Tiger says: Thanks for dropping by! Well, to each his own, I guess… I’m not registering myself yet though. Don’t think I will.

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